B2B Content Marketing: Reduce the Burden of Your Buyer’s Journey

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Lisa Vitale 102113While communicating with a wide audience is easier than ever before, somewhat paradoxically, actually connecting with them in meaningful ways is becoming ever more difficult amidst the growing morass of online content.  Unfortunately, quantity of information in no way equates with quality, leaving both buyer and seller alike challenged – the buyer to sort the wheat from the chaff, and the seller to be exactly the type of wheat the buyer needs. As a general goal, easing your buyer’s research burden by making their time as productive as possible can go a long way to position your B2B content marketing  ideas, thought leadership content, and your solutions as important and appealing.  To ensure your message doesn’t get mired in the online content bog, your marketing strategy should address the following challenges:

 

Create timely, audience-relevant content that is both differentiated and valuable.

 

Messaging is all about the audience and their needs, and framing your offering(s) in ways which resonate for maximum impact.  To provide differentiating value for your prospect, your message must offer unique, timely insight in addressing a pressing issue – whether immediately recognized or yet to be.  To connect most profoundly, your message and insight has to hit on an emotional level, challenging the conventional thinking to spark immediate concern.  By personalizing the pain, you can create a sense of urgency, especially regarding a previously unrecognized issue.  As we’ve blogged before, your disruptive insight, providing real commercial value, can reset your buyer’s purchase criteria in favor of your offering.  But be sure that your new framing is solid and based on credible research – nothing will undermine your efforts faster than mediocre content.

 

Get found!  Employ an integrated digital strategy.

 

To be truly effective, you must create integrated strategies that consistently cross-promote the availability of helpful content across the range of venues and interactions preferred by your target audience.  No longer are you confined to a one-size-fits-all approach – now you can take advantage of the opportunities enabled by the various digital mediums to reach deeper into vertical segments, tailoring content and delivery to resonate more profoundly with highly-targeted audiences.

 

Engage prospects earlier by enabling sales.

 

Properly enabling sales requires that you equip them with the tools and knowledge necessary to actively engage prospects.  New conversations are occurring constantly and new contexts, facts, stories, and framings are needed to support them.  Whether it’s communicating the value of your commercial insights or engaging a Line of Business manager with new ways to view challenges and the solutions, marketing and sales need to adopt complementary approaches.  These functions must align with a firm understanding of who the customer is, what their goals and challenges are, what matters to them, and how to speak their vernacular. It also falls under marketing’s purview to keep sales updated on the latest customer intelligence. Engaging early and maintaining engagement is vital to gaining and retaining customers, and care must be taken to deliver real value throughout.

 

While today’s digital environment has created a challenging environment for marketers in getting their message found, so too does it afford unprecedented opportunity.  Buyers are similarly challenged to navigate the same sea of information to find content which is of value to them.  Delight buyers by making their time as productive as possible and reduce their burden – engage them on a personal level with timely, relevant, credible, and unique content, while moving them smoothly through their buyer’s journey with tools at-the-ready for each stage of the process.

 

A great way to develop commercial insights into your prospects current challenges and issues is to sponsor a prospect survey. Surveys can help identify prospects most burning issues as well as provide actionable lead intelligence that your sales team can use to engage with prospects. At SimplyDIRECT we help technology vendors research the needs of their target accounts so they can more easily engage with senior-level contacts and have the information necessary to change buyer’s mindsets. To find our more read our Oracle | Eloqua case study. Click the image below to access the download.

Eloqua Case Study

 

What methods are you using to help simplify your buyer’s online research burden?